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Marriage feels dead but not financially set up to leave

(18 Posts)
Debutante Sun 14-Jun-20 13:34:48

Hi all
Can anyone offer any kind wisdom? We’ve been married for 46 years this year. He’s 67 and I just turned 65. Since we sold the family home 12 years ago things seem to have disintegrated. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster with us moving several times in that time. We can’t seem to both agree on where we want to live. We lived in Bromley but moved to the coast in 2015. I loved it but he missed a bigger garden and all his old contacts and friends. He also wasn’t happy with the house which I loved. We could hear the sea and we had sea, sunset and sunrise views. It was new and really the house of my dreams with sun and light flooding in. He couldn’t settle and didn’t feel ready to retire in spite of the fact we’d made 4 sets of friends in the space of one year including our neighbours who we regularly socialised with. He insisted on driving up and down the M20 for work and since we’d been mowed down by a lorry and were lucky to survive I became paranoid about him having an accident. Long story short I compromised and gave in so we moved to Chiselhurst after 3 years by the sea. We bought a project and I had to live in it whilst the work was done. It was incredibly stressful and dirty. I was ok whilst it was going on but once done I started to dream about my old home and life by the sea. I really can’t settle in this new place it feels all wrong. We have no view other than the small garden, and countryside walks bore me, I just yearn to walk by the sea. We don’t have private pensions to speak of and have limited funds which will probably run out after about 7 years so we will have to downsize and move again. I feel so incredibly flat and have completely lost my zest for life and though I care for him I know I don’t love him anymore. I have no respect and just get so frustrated with him. I feel that for his sake as well as mine we should live apart. I have tried to figure out ways of doing this financially but we don’t have enough to buy a separate home each and I am not earning now so couldnt support myself. He needs to retire fully now too. I would like to buy a small place by the sea by myself but realise I will be very isolated. There’s loads more to complicate things but I would have to go on and on! .......

EllanVannin Sun 14-Jun-20 13:51:46

It sounds to me that you'd have been better renting in those areas to get a feel of places before upping sticks all the time which carries its own stresses without anything else involved.

With limited funds I don't see another move for either of you to be a viable one. I'd have stuck to my guns about staying near the sea/coast and remained firm about it. Somehow I doubt he'd have left on his own. Moving should be a two-way thing and more discussing should have been done with a " for and against " plan.

You could have each found your own interests outside the home you were in and gone on from there. Shame really.

lemongrove Sun 14-Jun-20 14:00:42

I agree with Ellan on this, a great shame that you moved to Chiselhurst ( not that there’s anything wrong with it) but you loved the home by the sea and had made friends there.
It’s done though, and you don’t have enough money to buy two houses now by the sound of it, and it can be incredibly hard to start over on your own at your age.
You say you don’t love him, but you have been a couple for a long time now, do you at least feel some affection?
The best thing to do now is to create some friends/hobbies that are just yours and not his, to go out when you can and to
Try and enjoy life ( not easy at the moment though.)

Callistemon Sun 14-Jun-20 14:25:23

Do you have any family nearby?
It is a very strange time at the moment and most of us have been unable to see family or friends and it can make us feel unsettled.

Moving frequently does cost a lot of money and you would lose out financially each time.
How long does he intend working? Some people do work into their 70s and even beyond but most look forward to retirement and hobbies.

Although this can't happen for the time being could you put plans in place to join some social groups after things get back to normal, instead of relying on just your DH for enjoyment of life?
I think there is a Townswomen's Guild in Chislehurst, probably a WI or two, the U3A.
None will be meeting just now but you could make enquiries.

You could make plans too, for your future; perhaps your DH might want to move nearer the sea again one day. Of course, perhaps you will find you're so settled with new friends in Chislehurst that you may not want to!

Debutante Sun 14-Jun-20 14:26:27

Thanks for commenting Ellan. Yes I should have stuck to my guns I know that only too well now. I think after the juggernaut hit us I started to get paranoid about the motorway with good reason as we witnessed many serious accidents. There was no way to avoid it as the only route home. I also worried about my daughters and their partners visiting as they would always be travelling down in the rush hour. I know my fear was irrational now but it was a symptom of PTSD and it affected my decision to agree to the idea of moving back. I broke my back in the accident and though I’ve recovered I suffer a lot of back pain and this adds to my fear of another motorway accident. I don’t think my back could take another shock!
I think we made some rash decisions too due to the fact that we were carers for my in laws for 8 years and had a lot of stress caring for them. In the space of 5 years my mother in law had a massive stroke and died a slow death, my father in law died terribly of cancer. My dad and brother both died of cancer. My husband was diagnosed with possible MDS, I broke my back on holiday in Italy, one daughter went through a difficult divorce and the other was diagnosed with IGA a rare kidney desease. I think we were trying to run away from it all subconsciously! We sold our home in Bromley too soon after my father in laws death, should have waited longer. We all could have made better decisions with hindsight I guess.

humptydumpty Sun 14-Jun-20 14:28:03

You are still young enough to get work e.g. in Waitrose, could you perhaps rent a small place by the sea?

Debutante Sun 14-Jun-20 14:38:34

Thanks Callistemon
I’ve been trying to meet people and have made one friend, though she still works and has an already hectic social life. I joined a charity walk and met a few people but the walks stopped and I find that most people have lived here all their lives and have firmly established friendships. I tried joining a knitting group but in this area the age group is much older. I find I’m more suited to the lifestyle and attitudes of people who live by the sea. I try to fit in but I’m very unconservative and would like to live life a bit more on the edge than people around here. . I do have affection for my husband and until recently have always been motivated to make him nice things to eat etc. He’s very old school and would love it if I was a naturally traditional housewife i.e. doing all the household chores especially the cooking. Recently I’ve felt no motivation to want to please him or doing anything for him like I used to. It feels like somethings died in me.

seacliff Sun 14-Jun-20 14:42:04

IF you sold in Chislehurst, you'd get a very good price for your house. If you chose to move to, say Deal, you would have a lot of choice for under £300,00.

Would you settle by the sea OK on your own? Would you make friends easily as a lone person - very probably by the sound of it. Check if there is a thriving U3A and other social groups that might appeal to you.

You could tell him exactly what you are thinking and see what his response is. He might be shocked and agree to move back to stay with you. OR you could say you want some time apart, and go and rent down there for a month or two, and see how you get on alone. (covid permitting, of course). Good luck.

Galaxy Sun 14-Jun-20 14:46:01

I think you have been through some fairly traumatic experiences and it's perfectly naturally that you would be questioning what you want in life. Would you consider counselling, it sounds like you have an awful lot to work through.

sodapop Sun 14-Jun-20 14:56:03

I agree with Galaxy you have had some terrible things happen Debutante no wonder you feel as you do. Counselling would help you come to terms with everything.
Now is not the time to be making life changing decisions, talk to your family and husband and see if there are compromises to be made when we all move on.
Good luck.

Floradora9 Sun 14-Jun-20 15:21:38

I still yearn for the house by the sea we left 20 years ago and it was me who instigated the move but with a good reason.

Grammaretto Sun 14-Jun-20 15:22:40

I agree with this wise advice. Once I read all the awful things you have both had to endure, I felt sure you should stay and help each other through this.
Maybe you both need counselling?
Can you speak to your doctor?
He has lost both his parents too and perhaps being unadventurous is his way of coping.
My DH reverts to type and I have to remind him occasionally that I am not his mother!!!

I don't believe this is about money or lack of it. If you were really unhappy you could find a way to leave the situation. I think the wishing for how it was (before the accident) is actually preventing you from thinking creatively about the future.
You need to have a new dream!

BTW It's a funny stage for a lot of men who identify themselves by their work role and are scared of retirement.

GrandmaMoira Sun 14-Jun-20 16:15:49

If you lived in Bromley just a few years ago, do you not still have any of the friends from then? Can you contact them and socialise with them once lockdown is over. Bromley has a thriving U3A and quite a lot going on normally. Can you give it a bit more time here to pick up a social life rather than moving on again?
If you decide to separate, Chislehurst is an expensive area so I am sure you could find somewhere small with half the money from the house.

Hithere Sun 14-Jun-20 16:48:30

If I were you, I would sit with my dh and compromise on where we would want to live, a place you both be happy (the pros) and you both can tolerate the cons as well.

If that place doesnt exist- I would find out if there is a problem with the marriage.
It is a lose lose situation if you are happy by the beach and he is miserable and viceversa in your current place of residence

I would also meet with the financial advisor and see what plan you can follow and where to relocate (if needed) to have a secure financial plan for the long term future.

You have 25+ years ahead of you and need to think how to provide for your current and future needs, especially when you cannot live by yourselves and need assistance.

Debutante Mon 15-Jun-20 10:08:34

I’m sorry to hear you still yearn for the sea after 20years! How did you cope in the early days? I’m wondering if you were born by the sea? I was born and raised by the sea and it was a shock when I got married and because of my husbands work had to move to the city. He is a real ‘townie’ so doesn’t miss it in the same way I do. Did you find happiness in spite of the yearning?

Callistemon Mon 15-Jun-20 10:52:53

We still yearn for the sea but chose to stay near close family.

Nonogran Mon 15-Jun-20 21:36:35

Hello Debutante, I'm so sorry for your predicament. You really are at a cross roads. Much of the foregoing advice is very good & in your shoes I'd try to get the house valued so you'd have some idea, if you split, what you'd have towards a place on your own. Get your ducks in a row! Knowledge is power. Meanwhile, why not explore the idea of a touring caravan on a seasonal pitch beside the sea? On such a pitch you leave yr van there all year round. No need to move it. We have a towing caravan in Cornwall on a seasonal pitch & normally spend all summer down there. Many caravan sites offer seasonal pitches so do a recce' and see what comes up. Before you disregard the idea, there are some fabulous second hand caravans on the market all the time at reasonable prices. We bought an old one to start with, then upgraded. Pitch fees vary but can be as little as £1600 per year with electric & water included. What I'm thinking is this could give you an opportunity to be beside the sea throughout the summer with or without yr OH & might help yr longing for a salty bolt hole? Look into it! You'll make loads of friends on the site and it might be just what you need whilst he tends to his bigger garden!

jeanie99 Tue 16-Jun-20 03:42:53

Buying and selling property as you know has hidden costs which can run into thousands. It's certainly not something you would want to do on a regular basis unless you have pots of money.
You have many different issues with your situation which makes this more difficult to make a decision on for you.
The reality of splitting with your husband of many years may not be as you envisage.
As a couple we share cost in running our homes and have someone to share our lives with.
This doesn't mean you have to be madly in love that person to share a home with them.
You could still live separate lives but share a home and this would be much less expensive than tying to purchase a property on your own.
I have a friend who is divorced but her x still shares the same property because they couldn't afford to live separately.
If you still linger for the home by the sea, check out the 50% mortgage share deals you can get with some companies and work out if you could manage the outgoings.
You could also buy a property with someone else you know.
Rent a property.
Register yourself on the council housing list.
Go back to work, you are still young enough to get work, this may give you more funds to put down on a property.
If you decide to stay with hubby agreeing on the place to live that's another thing.
Would you consider not permanently moving to the sea but renting for a few months a year, say living in a static caravan for the summer. You may receive a good deal if you rent for 4 month say.
You really do need to have a heart to heart talk with hubby and try to come to a compromise.
It may be also because of the deaths in your family and the accident you are wanting a new start to try and put this all behind you. When people die who we love we look to a better life before it is too late for ourselves.
Best of luck